Six albums and two decades spent criss-crossing the globe, playing to enthusiastic audiences from Sydney to San Francisco and Berlin to Beijing, have enabled Paris Combo to create an international following with their unique, cosmopolitan sound. Fronted by the charismatic vocals of chanteuse Belle du Berry, the combo have struck a chord with critics and audiences alike with their fun-loving mix of swinging gypsy jazz, cabaret, French pop and Latino and Middle Eastern rhythms. Venues and festivals where they have performed include the Olympia, le Grand Rex, la Cité de la Musique, Nice and Montréal Jazz Festivals, SF Jazz, the Hollywood Bowl and Melbourne Recital Centre…
The mainstream success of their second album “Living Room” (2000) gave the group a unique status as a French indie band capable of drawing crowds not only in France, where the album went gold, but also in Australia and the USA where they have chalked up nearly twenty tours. Returning to performing in 2011 after a five-year hiatus, the group made their US comeback at the Hollywood Bowl and went on to release their fifth album, simply entitled “5”, on the DRG/eOne label. Media response to “5” was enthusiastic and in 2013-14, they sold out venues across the country with their frst US tours in a decade and a triumphant return to Australia in 2015. “ Tako Tsubo ”, their sixth studio album was released worldwide in 2017.
Belle du Berry, guitarist Potzi and drummer Francois first performed together in Paris as members of a quirky retro revue, “Les Champetres de Joie” which went on to collaborate at the closing ceremony of the Albertville Winter Olympic Games in 1992. Du Berry and Australian-born trumpeter-pianist David Lewis met while performing together at the “Cabaret Sauvage” and in 1995 the group began to hone their sound playing in cafés and barges along the Seine under the name “Paris Combo”.
Du Berry, whose musical roots go back to post-punk bands, cites influences such as Arletty, the French singer-actress of the ’30s, but also the Surrealists and a panoply of more recent artists including the B-52’s. Potzi’s Django-influenced guitar often mixes with Francois’ ska or Latin grooves to create a fascinating blend. Lewis, who previously played with a wide variety of French bands including Manu Dibango and Arthur H, attributes the group’s approach to Paris’ cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Paris Combo’s eponymous 1997 debut disc arrived as the swing revival was in full bloom, yet the band’s wide-ranging mix of musical influences instantly set them apart from other groups in the genre, winning critical praise and appealing to international audiences. The momentum continued with the release of their second album, “Living Room,” which went gold in France in 2000, and confirmed the group’s international standing, with tours of the United States, Australia and Asia and a nomination at the French industry awards, Les Victoires de la Musique. The following year Paris Combo released their third set, “Attraction,” with a series of concerts at the prestigious Cité de la Musique in Paris. Their fourth album, “Motifs,” 2004, was supported by a tour that included Australasia, Brazil and the iconic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles where the group was accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The troupe reunited in 2010 after a four-year hiatus and spent a year writing, rehearsing and rediscovering their hallmark sound. They began performing the new material that evolved into the album “5” and, in September 2011, delivered a memorable come-back show with orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, kicking off in style an exciting new phase in their career.
Doors Open: 6:00 pm
Show Starts: 8:00 pm